GIFT stands for Group Instructional Feedback Technique.
GIFT is a mid-semester, facilitated gathering of feedback from students that is used to clarify how instructors and students can better support learning in a course.
Help instructors become more aware of student perceptions and experiences well before end-of-semester course evaluations
Help students reflect on, share, and act on ways they can enhance their own learning
Facilitate constructive dialogue between instructors and students about learning
The instructor contacts CAFÉ to request a GIFT, providing the days, times, and location of the class sessions
CAFÉ briefly orients the instructor to the GIFT process and solicits any specific areas of interest or context relevant to the GIFT. They agree on a class date and time to conduct the 20- to 30-minute GIFT.
During the GIFT, the instructor leaves the class session and the CAFÉ facilitator asks students to respond individually in writing and then discuss in small groups 3-5 basic questions:
What does the instructor do that helps with your learning?
What changes in the instructor's approach would promote your learning?
What do you do that facilitates your learning?
What else could you do in the remainder of the semester to improve your learning?
What is the hardest thing to learn in this course?
The facilitator asks small groups to briefly share with the entire class key ideas in response to each question.
The facilitator synthesizes student feedback in writing. The synthesis will strive to highlight patterns, facilitate prioritization, and maintain student anonymity. To promote student anonymity, original student-written responses are not shared.
Within a few days, the facilitator meets with the instructor to discuss the synthesized student feedback and possible ways of adjusting instruction and sustaining constructive dialogue with students about maximizing learning.
When returning to class, the instructor briefly discusses the feedback with students and outlines feasible adjustments and next steps to maximize learning.
You, your students, and the CAFÉ facilitator. CAFÉ will report the number of GIFTs requested and carried out on an annual basis, but instructor names will not be included in the annual report. You may wish to reflect on and write about the GIFT, what you learned from it, and how you adapted your teaching in response to the GIFT in an annual faculty evaluation or in a tenure/promotion review. You have the choice to include the synthesized student feedback from the GIFT to document your use of this process.
Laura Lohman, PhD, SHRM-SCP, PMP
Director, Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence
Professor of Music